From Astoria to Brookings, Baker City to Medford, over 5,500 dedicated volunteers came out in full swing on Saturday, September 21 to take care of Oregon as part of the annual SOLVE Beach & Riverside Cleanup, presented by the Oregon Lottery. This year, an estimated 28,261 pounds of trash and marine debris were collected from more than 140 project sites including beaches, parks, waterways, urban spaces and natural areas across the state.
Beach cleanups took place along the entire Oregon Coast, from Astoria to Brookings, attracting thousands of visitors and locals alike to aid in the fight against marine debris.
The most common items found during the event were tiny plastic pieces, cigarette butts, discarded fishing rope, glass, and plastic bottles. Portland’s Central Eastside’s Cleanup gave a new definition to “deep clean”, with 10 divers from Adventures with a Purpose diving into the Willamette River and retrieving bikes, scooters, and countless skateboards.
The recovered items were then loaded onto a barge and brought back to shore, where volunteers lined up, ready to help unload. Other volunteers did litter cleanup throughout the Central Eastside neighborhood and installed placards on storm drains, reminding citizens that these drains flow directly into the river.
An astounding 3,000 pounds of litter was collected by 174 volunteers during this project!
Volunteers also came out in Salem, joining the Oregon Lottery at Wallace Marine Park for a litter cleanup. In total, more than 70 volunteers picked up over 500 pounds of litter before it could pollute the nearby Willamette River. Cleaning up near inland waterways, especially near developed areas, is an important, but often overlooked step, at combatting the marine debris crisis.
“We are grateful for the thousands of Oregonians who participated in this year’s SOLVE Beach & Riverside Cleanup,” said Oregon Lottery Director Barry Pack. “This event gave us all a great opportunity to help preserve our state’s special beauty. A huge thank you to everyone who volunteered at one of the over-100 SOLVE project sites across Oregon. You played a key role in helping make SOLVE’s Beach & Riverside Cleanup successful.”
The success of the Beach & Riverside Cleanup is due in large part to our dedicated project leaders, beach captains, the garbage and recycling companies that donate their services, the thousands of volunteers who donate their time and energy as well as our presenting sponsor, the Oregon Lottery.
“It amazes me just how many people come out to clean up Oregon each year during SOLVE’s Beach & Riverside Cleanup. It makes me proud to say I am an Oregonian, and to belong to such a caring community.” Reflects SOLVE’s CEO, Kris Carico. “If it weren’t for the volunteers, project leaders, beach captains, and sponsors who are willing to step up and get the work done, none of this progress would be possible.”
The Beach & Riverside Cleanup is held in partnership with the Oregon Lottery. Additional sponsors include Metro, Subaru of Portland, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, local coast haulers, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Fred Meyer, NW Natural, Wells Fargo, Clean Water Services, Shadowbox Farms, K103fm, KOIN 6, BottleDrop, Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, Pacific Power, and Tillamook County Creamery Association.